The 10-cent Panama Canal 25th anniversary stamp was issued on July 15, 1939, as part of the six-stamp set marking the 10th anniversary of airmail from the Canal Zone to the United States and also the Silver Jubilee of the canal's opening.
The design features a Douglas passenger plane superimposed on a map of the Caribbean Basin, an appropriate motif because at the time this type plane flew the airmail route from the United States, down through Mexico and Central America and on to the Isthmus of Panama. The rate to near-by countries such as Costa Rica was also ten cents. In the design's background a Sikorsky flying boat appears over the Caribbean islands. This plane flew the trans-Caribbean airmail routes. Many collectors refer to this 10-cent stamp simply as 'The Planes and Map' stamp.
A total of 175,000 of these 10-cent stamps were printed but only just over 117,000 were sold. Authorities burned the remainders in April 1941.
First day covers of the 10-cent stamp are common, often found with the other stamps of this set. Some singles were used on covers sent to the United States on first day covers, but they were actually transmitted by boat with a notation to the effect that ten cents was insufficient for airmail service. This stamp is almost always found used in combination with other stamps in a make-up rate format on regular airmail, and collectors seldom see single proper usages.